What is a trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark as, "a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others." A trademark is not a copyright or patent. A trademark does not need to be registered, but it may be at the state or federal level.

What are the ODU trademarks?

  • "Old Dominion University"
  • "Old Dominion"
  • "ODU"
  • "Monarchs"
  • "Old Dominion Monarchs"
  • The University Corporate logo with crown
  • The athletics crown logo
  • The athletics Lion logo
  • The athletics Lion shield logo
  • Big Blue logo
  • The University Seal

All other names, including "Monarchs", symbols, initials, colors, images, graphic designs or other indicia that refer to the University are protected by United State federal and state law. The trademarks are updated continually. A current listing of registered trademarks is available from the University Licensing Office.

    Program Details

    • Old Dominion University's trademarks may not be used in conjunction with the name or trademark(s) of any other entity or individual without the prior written permission of that entity and the Executive Director of Licensing. Approval of any such dual use of the University's trademarks will be limited to instances of compelling institutional interest for allowing such a use. Similarly, Old Dominion University's trademarks may not be used in any manner that suggests or implies the University's endorsement of other organizations, companies, products, services, political parties or views, or religious organizations and beliefs without prior written permission from the University's President.
    • Old Dominion University's trademarks may not be used in any way that discriminates or implies discrimination against any persons or groups based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, genetic information, political affiliation, marital status, disability, or any other status protected by law, or in any other way that would be a violation of Old Dominion University Policy 1005 - Discrimination Policy or practices.
    • No entity other than Old Dominion University may claim copyright or trademark rights or seek to register any design that incorporates the University's trademarks.
    • All uses of Old Dominion University trademarks on products should incorporate the appropriate trademark designation symbols (i.e., ® or ™). No changes, deletions, or alterations to the trademarks are allowed.
    • The University's Executive Director of Licensing may not approve the use of Old Dominion University's trademarks for products or designs that present an unacceptable risk of liability or could be harmful to the mission or image of the institution. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Firearms, other weapons, or any products that could be used to injure or kill
      • Alcohol-related products
      • Tobacco-related products
      • Illegal drug-related products
      • Sexually suggestive products or language
      • Gambling-related products
      • Statements impugning other universities
    • Old Dominion University departments and units are permitted to use the University's trademarks for official University business purposes on internal consumption items after approval from the Executive Director of Licensing. All such uses must be in accordance with this and any other applicable University policies or guidelines, including, but not limited to, those regarding brand identity.

    Using Player Images

    Do you want to use a photograph that displays an association with the University for a product?

    • You must have an ODU license to produce an item which includes a photo.
    • If your product and/or advertising contains photographs or images, ensure that you own all necessary rights to reproduce these photos/images/video.
    • Get overall approval from the Licensing Office.